About Mount Athos
Mount Athos is the only monastic state in Europe or indeed anywhere in the world. It has been a source of inspiration to generation upon generation of people and it has played a leading role in the struggle of the Greek nation for spiritual and physical liberty.
The first Christians reached the Holy Mountain in the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great, at the time when Constantinople had just become capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium was taking shape.
A soul-stirring experience awaits the visitor to the Holy Mountain's monasteries, many of them perched alone among craggy rocks and lush greenery with spectacular vistas of the sea below.
But it's not merely the view which will astound, but the artistic wealth hailing from Byzantium contained within the seminaries.
Icons, mosaic floors, crosses, embroidered items, carpets, manuscripts on parchment, great religious works are among the priceless historical and cultural treasures that are only exhibited to the wider public on extremely rare occasions, such as in 1997 when Thessaloniki was Europe's Cultural Capital.
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